Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Hindenburg mystery solved after 76 years



Hindenburg mystery solved after 76 years 

Last week various news wires were abuzz with the findings of a group of aeronautical scientists who, after a series of painstaking experiments and recreations, claim to have finally laid to rest any question of what exactly caused the airship Hindenburg to explode over Lakehurst, NJ, in May 1937.

I'd intended to post this link - probably the best of the bunch - at the time the story first broke, so as to tie in with the TV documentary that aired recently on Channel 4 (and previously on the Discovery Channel) explaining fully how the discovery was made and which precipitated the news.  My cold(s) put paid to that idea, though, so here I am a couple of weeks later hopefully still in time to spread the fascinating discovery further.

Thanks to the efforts of British scientist Jem Stansfield and his team of engineers one theory above all others has been shown to be the most likely - and it appears to have been accepted by most historians (and the wider world).  After nearly 80 years of theories and conspiracies and with that iconic image of the Hindenburg burning above its mooring mast never having gone away, one of aviation's enduring mysteries looks like having been put to bed.  One wonders what other historical events and unknowns are just waiting to be resolved with the aid of modern science.

The airship industry has taken as long to recover from the Hindenburg disaster but, as other articles about modern airships featured on this blog have shown, they certainly still have a future and the final solving of the 1937 riddle may go some way to cementing it.

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